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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 13, 2010 1:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Nothing all that substantial, but I was struck by the responses and fundamental agreement among posters here about his "first decline" (if I may) being 83-84 (duh, I suppose, with 85 being a "big yr" on the physical issues front...right?). Though some (rightfully) found it depressing, what it made me realize is that I'd never understood the ref's to him, affectionately (I assume) as the "Fatman" since when I stopped, in 82, it was prior to this first dramatic alteration on the physical front.

What I'd seen up til then was significant, of course, but I'd gotten used to it, in part because a number of yrs ago my sons asked me "when did Garcia get fat?" and after we studied pics and such (prior to arriving here), we decided it was 69. Scoff, I know, but it's because the only pics I had of him were very early era, and the kids decided he was fat by 69 and 70 (as evidenced on Fest Exp). Of course, we would now say he was perhaps just a bit overweight by then (dunno, 15 lbs, maybe 25? really just got soft and pudgy, and no longer looked good in his striped pants of 67 fame...I know I can't wear my pants of that sort the past decade or so...).

Clearly, those of you seeing him in the 80s and 90s, though, would have thought of him as "fat" (obviously he stablized at the slightly overwt stage for most of the 70s, right?) from the start of your experience, and that's something I missed completely. The pics I've seen of him in the 90s are often very disturbing...

No news really, just another trivial recognition on my part of how different eras provide very different impressions of Jerry, and that these (no doubt) have shaped our fundamental take on him in a variety of ways (again, "duh", but hey, "duh" moments are my bread and butter, eh?).

EG, BD's 89 interview, posted yesterday, to me shows how the "physical" could directly impact the "musical" as just one further example. Way too many Brent songs--interesting if that was due to physical limitations, creative choice on JG's part, or combination.

EDIT: sorry for the bump, but meant to include this pic of Jerry, which is now shown in the reply to myself below, since I forgot that a revision doesn't allow a pic to be added, esp when you're an idiot like me.

Sorry!

This post was modified by William Tell on 2010-11-13 21:26:57

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Nov 12, 2010 8:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Having seen Jerry quite regularly from late 1970 through the summer of '82, his weight never seemed to be an 'issue' then. I remember standing about 40' from him at Des Moines in June of '74, and thinking he seemed to have 'grown' slightly over the winter, having been about 40' from him in the spring and fall of '73. At Des Moines, we joked that it could just be that he was wearing a red sweatshirt, instead of the usual dark blue t-shirt. But it was a bit confusing as he was clean-shaven, making his face look thinner by comparison. From summer of '74 through summer of '82, the change was gradual - we all joked that life must be good, and he was getting 'comfortable' with it. I must say though, that with each successive time I saw him through the '80's, the change was startling and disturbing. The difference between '82 and '84 was quite noticeable, from '84 to '87 was a concern, from '87 to '90 seismic and disturbing, and summer of '95 was just disheartening - even frightening, if not foretelling. We are all capable of following that same ever-widening path, but I must say that watching Jerry's trajectory has been a sobering personal reminder to try to monitor and maintain that which gravity and lifestyle allow.

Your man, Eric Clapton and the svelte septuagenerian bass players, Phil and Jack Casady are all good examples that one can maintain healthy physical boundaries and still pursue the life of an aging touring musician.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Nov 12, 2010 11:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

" from '87 to '90 seismic and disturbing"

I think he looked really good 89-91. At least in comparison to the mid 80's and after 91. Over weight sure but he looked like he was taking care of himself more imo

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Nov 12, 2010 11:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Agreed. While I might be hesitant to say he looked "healthy", he definitely seemed to have dropped a cup size or two (could you get a tye-dye Manzier?) AND decided that showering might be a good idead.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Nov 12, 2010 3:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

that would be a tasteful black manzier, no?

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 5:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

"he definitely seemed to have dropped a cup size or two (could you get a tye-dye Manzier?) AND decided that showering might be a good idead."

Now that's a mean shot across the bow. Man's greatest nightmare - moobs!

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Nov 12, 2010 11:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

exactly! his hygeine definitely was up a bunch of notches.

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Nov 12, 2010 11:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

I did reconsider my thoughts on that '87 to '90 statement after posting. When I saw Jerry in '88 with the Dead, Dylan and Tom Petty in Minneapolis, he looked worse - in body and in spirit - than when I saw him in Long Beach in '87.
Didn't see him in '89, but when I saw him the last of 3 nights at Wembley in London he looked and sounded completely worn down.

JOTS, you are probably right in your assessment of those years. My "seismic and disturbing' comment in this case was also alluding to the shock factor of having seen a surprisingly energetic Jerry at Long Beach Arena in November '87, playing with clarity, creativity and , at times, fierceness. His voice, though worn, still carried emotion and depth - through the encore. Whereas when I saw him in London at the end of the European tour of '90, he had lost so much of that energetic spark and joyful sparkle in his playing he sounded and played like a weak, minimalistic shadow of his former self, and his voice could barely make it through the first set. It was all very saddening (with the worst grateful dead train wreck - the U.S. Blues encore - that this longtime fan had ever seen).

Not having followed the Dead live nearly as much in the '80's as in the 70's, these were my impressions. I didn't see them after that Wembley gig until a friend persuaded me to take a road trip to Deer Creek for that fateful 7/2/95 debacle.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Nov 12, 2010 12:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

ooh bad timing I guess. Well I think the 87 phenominon found the band really ramping it up all the way around. And I think 88 was definitely a step back but even if you dont agree musically look at the actual pics of Jer 89-91. Looked MUCH better I think

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Nov 12, 2010 2:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Bad timing, indeed. It was sheer luck that I caught that Long Beach 11/15/87 show - that was the last time I saw Jerry with any fire in his playing. A recent listening to Wembley 10/31/90 showed a Jerry that was a bit more familiar to these ears . . . too bad he shot that wad and was pretty much spent by the next night when I caught him.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Nov 12, 2010 2:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

There's a killer aud of 11-14 that I enjoy.checking out the 11-15 now.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Nov 12, 2010 2:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

This was also the last 'good' show that I saw - and it was surprisingly good (especially after the dreadful Anaheim Dylan show). I saw only a small handful of shows in 88-89 but this was the last time I had a great time at a show ...

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 11:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

"and still pursue the life of an aging touring musician."

I'm sure that must get old fast. Going out and playing music while getting paid lots of money. :)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 12, 2010 2:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

You know, I've always thought along those lines too (about "it" getting old), but having gone thru a related transition in my own life, I have begun to think it might be more complicated. EG, as a teacher, I more or less just "did it" the first 25 yrs as part of the job allowing me to be what I always wanted to be (biologist). Patting myself on the back, I was always good at it, but it was completely secondary, and I did it as part of the job, for myself. Now, however, when it hardly matters at all (ie, I could screw it up, take it easy, be lazy with few consequences, etc.), I find I get a great deal more out of it due to the strong positive reactions I receive...again, sorry for the stomach turning selfcongratulatory theme, but making the pt that now it is via the connection and positive feedback that I find much more enjoyment in something that I was sure I'd burn out on. I think that the same thing might be akin to what older musical sorts find, and it might also explain why smaller settings, etc., are to their liking. Anyhow, knowing you make a difference to the folks ends up being more rewarding later in life, at some level, than was necessary when young and full of oneself, if you follow. Maybe not...of course, I am so full of myself, there's hardly room for anything else, right? Har, har--I hope.

Not that I am ignoring the fact that big bucks makes a huge difference, but you get the idea.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 10:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

You know, when I look at the GD movie, I think he looked pretty damn good. Sort of his peak moment, I guess. But, at least it's preserved. :)

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Poster: madmonkmcphee Date: Nov 12, 2010 8:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Has anyone here played in a touring band for 10+ years? Just sayin', I think 'ol Jer held up fairly well considering the rough road of touring and the amount of shows played. Definetely one of the hardest working persons in the music business. Think of all the musicians that passed away pre '75, or just at a young age in general

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Nov 12, 2010 9:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Wholeheartedly agree. 4,000+ shows, unbelievable. For Jerry, it was play or die.

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Poster: madmonkmcphee Date: Nov 12, 2010 10:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

...and it seems he didn't want it any other way, the man was overflowing with music

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Poster: leftwinger57 Date: Nov 13, 2010 8:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Guys, The man was deffinately fat, he chain smoked, ate all the wrong food, did the hardest drugs possible which all leads to diabetes. The grind of the road and having to either be producer, mixer, movie director brings on pressure no one man should ever endure.He also had his other spin-off groups so to me it's somewhat of a surprise he didn't leave us sooner.It's kind of weird that you could put ELVIS and Jerry in the same conversation of 2professioal musicions who worked themselves to death.
There's no joke here....LW

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 10:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Totally disagree. There are lots of musicians my age that are kicking along just fine. The list is too long to even start. It was all a choice. And then addiction.

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Poster: madmonkmcphee Date: Nov 12, 2010 10:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

I can see that, good point. Addiction definetely starts out with a choice, couldn't be content with being addicted to music

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Nov 12, 2010 7:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Well, duh!

Funny, I never really thought of him as fat, especially in light of the obesity epidemic in this country. Pudgy maybe. Far more telling for me are other behaviors. When you look at the scant video and some photos from earlier years, he looks much more energetic, engaged and dancing even while playing. From the 80s on, his hands shake an awful lot - must have taken all his powers of concentration to make that left hand behave, despite all his claims to having strong hands. The playing is just not as clean and sweet. He spent a lot of time in the late 80s and 90s just staring down, gunning out notes.

As to his claim in that interview that this was their "best record"... was this just hubris, or is this Jerry the salesman coming out? One thought here - Jerry was always hungry for a new song to play, never content to play the same things over and over. He was sick of rehashing the same old stuff. Yeah, Minglewood was definitely played out.

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Poster: Edsel Date: Nov 12, 2010 8:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

The shaky hands you speak of were always there, maybe not to the degree of latter years, but he always had a pretty good tremelo/vibrato in that left hand.


This post was modified by Edsel on 2010-11-12 16:32:56

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 12, 2010 8:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

It's funny how when it's slow, and gradual, it's one thing...and when it's all of a sudden, it's another.

I'll never forget my kids seeing a video of me when they were very young. I was in my late 30s, home from two hrs of basketball, playing in the yard, and they were all under 8. Then, watching that video ~20 yrs later, a few seconds go by and they all say "LOOK at Dad!!??"

Of course, it could've been the hair, could be the absence of a failed back--whatever, but the pt is that they had no conception of me as a "jock", which is what they decided I must have been, and only as a fat (okay, maybe not that bad), hairless, broken down ol fart spending all his time listening to the DEAD or CREAM.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 12, 2010 8:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

"I never really thought of him as fat, especially in light of the obesity epidemic in this country. Pudgy maybe. Far more telling for me are other behaviors."

Yet it may have been more the poor diet that killed him than the drugs.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 10:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Sorry. Jer weighed in at over 300. He was fat. Good for left end - bad for Jerry.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 12, 2010 10:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

I am surprised that with your background you didn't mention the need for a "bro" (Kramer's idea...?) by the 80s.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Nov 12, 2010 5:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Oh! Finally figured out what this meant! :)

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Poster: high flow Date: Nov 12, 2010 5:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

THE MANZIER! - Frank Costanza

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Nov 12, 2010 8:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

When I first started seeing him live, I really had no mental picture in my head to compare him to. I can't really remember the first time I saw older pictures of him, but it was most certainly after seeing him live in the 80's many times. As such, I always thought of him as the sweaty, overweight uncle at the wedding who sat quietly at his table devouring chocolate cake and eclairs, until someone asked him if he would like to play a song or two. He would then slowly arise from his sugar induced stupor, strap on a guitar and magic would start to happen.

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Poster: gumby69 Date: Nov 12, 2010 10:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

This is a great link to see the changes y'all are talking about:

http://www.markcurriestudios.com/html/dead/siteindex.html

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Nov 12, 2010 8:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Re: disturbed by pics of Jerry in the 90s.

Honestly, I'm more disturbed by the pics from the early-to-mid 80s. He was still a young man then, and he was a total wreck.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 10:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Oh yeah. There was a time around 1990 where I thought 'hey, this might turn out all right'. Not.

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Nov 12, 2010 12:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Part of the difference to me is that after the coma it seemed, for a while, that he actually started to give a shit about his appearance. His stage presence was a little bit livelier, and his playing was steadily improving. He was up and down on weight a lot, but did seem pretty engaged there for a few years before things started to fall off.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 12:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Yeah. And don't forget scuba diving. :)

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Nov 12, 2010 12:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

How is scuba diving linked ?

edit - I wrote it as usual and scuba diving was linked in my post as well .

Random words , randomly linked in random posts ?


This post was modified by micah6vs8 on 2010-11-12 20:57:51

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 12, 2010 1:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry at Terrapin Station

Jerry4.jpg



(yes, I know it's a turtle...)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 12, 2010 1:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry at Terrapin Station

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry...didn't you know it's not appropriate to approach sea turtles in their natural environs? Oh well--I can understand the "pull", and suppose given the benefits he rec'd, a few lapses in the domain of sea turtle regulations can be overlooked.

Great shot, BTW.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Nov 12, 2010 5:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry at Terrapin Station

Looks like a Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

They are predominantly herbivores, but do also eat some invertebrates such as jellyfish. Green Turtles are an endangered species.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 12, 2010 6:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry at Terrapin Station

Yep; that's exactly what it is.

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Poster: leftwinger57 Date: Nov 15, 2010 10:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry at Terrapin Station

yes, you guys arecorrect about the green sea turtles,tiger sharks love them to death.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 3:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry at Terrapin Station

The great State of Hawaii hires these turtles to entertain the touristas.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 12, 2010 2:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry at Terrapin Station

It looks like it has the situation turtlely under control.

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Nov 12, 2010 3:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry at Terrapin Station

ouch!

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 12, 2010 1:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry at Terrapin Station

Did it bite off his finger?

Yea, I know, careful with that axe, eugene...

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 3:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Actually rtws beat me to it. Great shot. I don't know the whole story, but I gather that he was turned onto scuba diving during one of his quests for health. He was mad for it. Had a home on Kauai and everything. I think he described diving as the closest thing to acid that he ever experienced. Plus he was bouyant. Not a minor thing you know. BTW - the last time I saw him was in 1990 in the Waikiki Shell. One of the best places ever. And he wore a black Aloha shirt and looked totally cool.

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Poster: Jobygoob Date: Nov 12, 2010 7:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Are you suggesting that Jerry's weight gain over a period of ten years had something to do with Brent's increased contributions on the Built to Last album?

Personally I found this section of the 1989 interview alot more interesting:

"...Ideally, the thing we would do is record the shows, and after the show is over you can get a cassette of the show you just went to. We wouldn’t have the tapers. We’d cut all that loose, but we would still be able to provide music to anybody who wanted it from any given show. That’s kind of our idea, but then implementing that kind of an idea is totally out of the question. It can’t be done. That’s one of the reasons why we still let the people tape and so forth."

Of course we know now that many performers are making a fortune doing exactly what Jerry described here, offering recordings of concerts for sale the night of the performance. I wonder what would have happened to the taping scene if digital copying was as easy as burning a disc for mass consumption back in 1989.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Nov 12, 2010 10:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Jerry was lean in 79-80 - watch the Dead Ahead video. His weight may have fluctuated in the years before that, but in 79-80 he was lean and mean. I think the weight started coming on for good in late 81 and then went off the cliff in late 83, early 84 as noted in the other thread

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Nov 12, 2010 2:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

"off the cliff"

How appropriate! That's the second time Ive seen that phrase. Did you come up with that?

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Nov 12, 2010 2:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Wish I could take credit for that, but it's an old turn of phrase. Wikipedia seems to think that it came out of the whole "lemming" thing ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemming

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 5:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

At least no one has a contract out for you.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 13, 2010 1:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Here's the pic: striped pants take the pounds off!

Attachment: 009_Jerry_Garcia.jpg

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Poster: user unknown Date: Nov 13, 2010 7:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

striped pants?

Jerry's never looked this good...
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/132/356593537_f72ff4e433.jpg?v=0

Sorry...my impression of Jerry through the years?

a multi-talented musician who as a result of poor personal decisions did not age well, but continued to entertain me nonetheless


This post was modified by user unknown on 2010-11-14 03:07:58

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 13, 2010 1:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

He really held his guitar up high, didn't he.

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Poster: bbbrew Date: Nov 13, 2010 2:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Another SCUBA pic. Rob's is cooler tho.
And striped pants.

Attachment: 177012461-o.jpg
Attachment: th_1967f_1_.jpg